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Personality Changes With Drug Dependency

The signs of drug use and dependency can often be overlooked by parents.
As a child grows into adulthood, there may be many personality changes. Some behaviors such as emotional outbursts, having a bad attitude, sleeping a lot, and simply not listening to our rules we often understand or accept as “normal” teenage behavior. Different drugs produce different symptoms in personality changes and behavior. Here are some signs to be aware of in your loved one:
Marijuana use and/or dependency
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Laughing for no particular reason
  • Getting the “munchies”
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Dry mouth
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
Heroin use and/or dependency
  • Movement is slow and/or uncoordinated
  • Extreme alertness followed by suddenly nodding off
  • Itchiness/ picking at skin (heroin releases histamines which make the skin itchy)
  • Speech is slurred
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Lack of personal hygiene, may wear the same clothes for days/not shower or bathe for days
  • Very little motivation for previous favorite activities
  • Spending a lot of time out/ with new friends
  • Lying and deceptive
  • Wears long sleeves/long pants even in hot weather (to cover needle marks)
  • Arms, legs, and eyelids appear to be heavy
  • Small, pinpoint size pupils
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Nosebleeds (from snorting)
  • Sores on lips (from smoking)
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Unexplained financial problems/stealing
Methamphetamine use/dependency
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dilated pupils
  • Isolation
  • May appear jittery or have a lot of energy
  • Aggressive behavior
  • May wear long sleeves/long pants to cover needle marks
  • Intense itching, as the user may feel like there are bugs under his/her skin
  • Hallucinations from not sleeping for days at a time
  • Irritability and depression when coming down
  • Sleeping for excessive periods of time, sometimes for days after a meth “run”
Alcohol use/dependency
  • Slurring words
  • Equilibrium is off (bumping into things, falling down)
  • The odor is on clothes/comes out of the pores
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Irritability and/or depression
  • Sweating or shakiness
Crack/Cocaine use/dependency
  • Loss of appetite/weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Intense euphoria and over confidence
  • Irritability and hallucinations
  • Being anxious and/or paranoid
  • Financial problems/stealing
  • Intense anger and/or erratic behavior
  • Going out and not coming back for days at a time
  • Runny nose or nosebleeds (from snorting)
  • Needle marks (from injecting)
  • Burned lips or fingers (from smoking)
There are many more categories of drug use and dependency (opioid pills, LSD, Ecstasy,etc.) Common changes in physical appearance and behavior are apparent throughout.
If you see someone you love losing weight, their skin looking shallow and unhealthy, and they are not taking care of their hygiene, chances are they are struggling with drug dependency. If you notice marks on their body that look suspicious, be suspicious. Individuals struggling with drug use and addiction will lie, cheat, and steal to feed their addiction. 

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